Getting proper nutrition consistently at any age and stage of life can be challenging. One solution to ensuring you are supporting your heart health optimally is with a smoothie. Smoothies are great because they can be tailored to your individual needs as a meal or snack. You can make a smoothie quickly in less than 5 to 10 minutes (that includes cleaning up) which is perfect for those with a busy, active lifestyle. But what should you put in your smoothie to help reduce your risk for heart disease? Check out the 3 key smoothie ingredients you should add to your blender below!
Ingredient #1: Antioxidants
Antioxidants are a group of chemicals that scavenge the body for damage caused by compounds called free radicals. Examples of antioxidants include Vitamin C, E, carotenoids, flavonoids and tannins. A diet that is high in antioxidants can help protect you against heart disease, help prevent cognitive decline and mitigate your cancer risk. Many antioxidants can be found naturally in the following foods you likely consume, so consider adding some of the following to your blender:
- Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and cranberries are chalk full of antioxidants and can be incorporated into smoothies fresh or frozen.
- Dark leafy greens like spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, and kale are
- Spices like cacao powder, cinnamon, turmeric, and nutmeg also are great additions to your smoothie and also very flavourful!
Ingredient #2: Potassium-Containing Foods
Potassium is a naturally occurring mineral found in many foods. Your body naturally keeps a balance between potassium and sodium, which is important for helping manage your blood pressure and preventing hypertension. The following foods are great options for incorporating into your smoothie routinely
- Fruits like dried or raw apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, grapefruit, oranges, raw figs, and dried dates can easily be added to a smoothie recipe for sweetness.
- Certain dairy products like plain yogurt and cottage cheese contain potassium and can add creaminess to your beverage.
- Dark chocolate is a great ad-on to top up your smoothie. Try shaving some chocolate on top for great flavour!
Ingredient #3: Protein
Getting in adequate protein daily can be challenging, and often at Rooted we find our patients struggle to get in their protein requirements. Protein can help balance blood sugar, improve satiety, and is part of a health diet that mitigates your risk for heart disease, heart attack or stroke. Some great protein-rich foods to add to smoothies include soy milk, plain, low-fat Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, or a great tasting protein powder.
We hope you enjoyed learning about the 3 key smoothie ingredients for optimal health heath. If you want to learn more about how to optimize your diet to support your heart health naturally, we’d love to work with you!
Book an appointment here with Dr. Liz Dalglish, ND, who focuses part of her practice on cardiovascular care, healthy aging, perimenopause, Parkinson’s care and vestibular conditions like Ménière’s disease and vestibular migraines.